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Birdwatch Ireland Seeks Citizen Scientists for Raptor and River Bird Surveys in Dublin

30th May 2024
Grey Wagtail declined by 67% between 1998 and 2016,” BirdWatch Ireland says. The independent conservation organisation seeks citizen scientists for records of raptors and river birds in Dublin city this summer
Grey Wagtail declined by 67% between 1998 and 2016,” BirdWatch Ireland says. The independent conservation organisation seeks citizen scientists for records of raptors and river birds in Dublin city this summer

BirdWatch Ireland is seeking citizen scientists for records of raptors and river birds in Dublin City this summer.

The Dublin City Raptor Survey is seeking records of Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Long-eared Owl and Barn Owl, while the Dublin City River Bird Survey is seeking records of Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Sand Martin and Dipper.

Raptor and river bird populations are often under-recorded in Ireland due to their ecology, Birdwatch Ireland notes.

“Several bird species are of significant conservation concern, including the Grey Wagtail, which declined by 67% between 1998 and 2016,”it says.

“Meanwhile, raptors such as Kestrel and Barn Owl are Red-listed species, meaning they are at risk of extinction in Ireland,”it notes.

The survey running until September 30th is being run by Birdwatch Ireland in collaboration with Dublin City Council as part of the Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan.

It is supported by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

“As urbanisation is increasing rapidly in Ireland, we need to better understand our baseline population of river birds and how are they faring in an increasingly urbanised environment,”it says.

“This information will inform conservation measures for these species. Citizen scientists are key to these projects, and your knowledge and sightings will make a significant contribution to our understanding of river bird and raptor populations and their distribution in Dublin city,” it says.

These surveys can be undertaken by people of all ages at any Dublin city location, and there is no minimum time commitment.

Participants should have some basic raptor and/or river bird identification skills. Binoculars are recommended but not required.

To learn more about these surveys and to get involved, visit here

Meanwhile, as Afloat reported earlier,  Dublin Port Company (DPC) is welcoming back its breeding terns for the summer months. Among these returning birds is likely an Arctic Tern that was first ringed in Dublin Port in the year 2000 and has been flying back and forth from Antarctica ever since. At least 23 years old, this is the oldest Arctic Tern on record in the Republic of Ireland. Team

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!